The authors thank Marina Bassi for helpful research assistance. Black and Devereux gratefully acknowledge financial support from the National Science Foundation and the California Center for Population Research. Salvanes thanks the Norwegian Research Council for financial support. Special thanks to Enrico Moretti for providing the data on US compulsory schooling legislation and to Phil Oreopoulos, Marianne Page and Ann Stevens for providing their data on state characteristics. A previous (2004) version of this article circulated under the title ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High? The Effects of Compulsory Schooling Laws on Teenage Births’.
Staying in the Classroom and out of the maternity ward? The effect of compulsory schooling laws on teenage births*
Article first published online: 28 JUN 2008
© The Author(s). Journal compilation © Royal Economic Society 2008
The Economic Journal
Volume 118, Issue 530, pages 1025–1054, July 2008
How to Cite
Black, S. E., Devereux, P. J. and Salvanes, K. G. (2008), Staying in the Classroom and out of the maternity ward? The effect of compulsory schooling laws on teenage births. The Economic Journal, 118: 1025–1054. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-0297.2008.02159.x
- Issue published online: 28 JUN 2008
- Article first published online: 28 JUN 2008
- Submitted: 17 March 2005 Accepted: 29 March 2007
This article investigates whether increasing mandatory educational attainment through compulsory schooling legislation encourages women to delay childbearing. We use variation induced by changes in compulsory schooling laws in both the US and Norway to estimate the effect in two very different institutional environments. We find evidence that increased compulsory schooling does in fact reduce the incidence of teenage childbearing in both the US and Norway, and these estimates are quite robust to various specification checks. These results suggest that legislation aimed at improving educational outcomes may have spillover effects onto the fertility decisions of teenagers.